Polaris expansion bringing jobs to Chisago County

The planned expansion at Polaris Industries, Inc. in Wyoming will more than double the size of the facility. Photo by Derrick Knutson

Polaris Industries, Inc. in Wyoming is planning to add an expansion to its facility that would more than double the size of the building.

Along with that 144,00-square-foot expansion comes a number of high-paying jobs.

Nancy Hoffman, the Chisago County HRA/EDA director, said Polaris will be receiving a tax break on the project through JOBZ, an initiative through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that provides local and state tax exemptions to qualified companies that expand or relocate into targeted regions outside the Twin Cities.

She noted that program will only last a few more years, so she’s working with Polaris to pursue a Minnesota Investment Fund, which is a state grant for business expansion.

Hoffman said Polaris will be looking to hire about 275 new employees after the addition is complete, primarily in the engineering and technician fields.

She said many of those jobs will pay around $100,000 a year.

Polaris plans to break ground on the expansion Friday.

Hoffman said she has not yet been provided with a date when the expansion could be finished.

“This is outstanding,” Chisago County Board Chairman George McMahon said at the board’s Sept. 19 meeting after Hoffman presented the expansion plan to the commissioners.  “Maybe we could even sell some houses to those employees who will be coming up here.”

Trail grants

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously gave the go-ahead for county staff to pursue grants that would be utilized to build and maintain paved pedestrian trails in the county.

Hoffman said she would submit a Legacy Grant application in the amount of $1.465 million that would be used to construct the east end of the Swedish Immigrant Trail in Taylors Falls.

That section would be a 2.2-mile stretch that would include bridges, parking areas and amenities.

The entire trail would be 3.7 miles, running from Taylor’s Falls to Wildwood Campground.

In order to obtain the grant, the county would have to allocate an additional $112,00 from the county parks fund and $10,000 from the Parks and Trails Foundation.

The county also submitted an application for a Legacy Grant in the amount of $85,000 for maintenance of the Sunrise Prairie Trail.

A local match of $10,000 would be provided from the Chisago County Parks and Trails Foundation if that grant application is accepted.

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